The Rolling Stones
Label: ABKCO (US)
The superior U.K. version of The Stones' first record, this 1964 statement of purpose differs from the U.S. version most obviously in the title (it isn't the goofy England's Newest Hit Makers). It also opens with what was perhaps their best song at the time, "Route 66," and "Not Fade Away" is switched out with "Mona (I Need You)," their other best song from the early days, except for maybe "King Bee," "Carol" or … a thousand others. The greatest rock 'n' roll band somehow comes off even cooler with this original version. As far as first albums go, this punches Please Please Me in the face.